Successful propulsion and manoeuvrability trials by Fortescue’s dual-fuelled ammonia-powered vessel in the Port of Singapore

Successful propulsion and manoeuvrability trials by Fortescue’s dual-fuelled ammonia-powered vessel in the Port of Singapore


Fortescue, with support from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, government agencies, research institutes, and industry partners, has achieved a significant milestone by completing propulsion and manoeuvrability trials of its Singapore-registered vessel, the Fortescue Green Pioneer, in the Port of Singapore. These trials, conducted over 10 days from April 23 to May 2, 2024, involved the use of 6.4 m3 (4.4 tonnes) of liquid ammonia, alongside diesel and hydrogenated vegetable Oil (HVO), a second-generation biofuel, as marine fuel.

This accomplishment follows the successful conduct of the world’s first dual-fuelled ammonia fuel trial in the Port of Singapore by the Fortescue Green Pioneer in March 2024. During this trial, the vessel received flag approval from the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) and the “Gas-fueled ammonia” notation from classification society DNV, enabling it to use ammonia in combination with diesel as a marine fuel.

The approval and notation were granted after a series of fuel trials conducted over seven weeks in February and March 2024, using five cubic metres (three tonnes) of liquid ammonia. These trials, which took place while the Fortescue Green Pioneer was anchored, included testing various aspects such as the vessel’s ammonia storage systems, associated piping, gas fuel delivery system, retrofitted engines, and seaworthiness. The vessel was also showcased to members of the maritime community during the Singapore Maritime Week in April 2024, where they learned about the trials, emergency procedures, and seafarer training for safe handling of ammonia fuel.

To facilitate the latest set of trials involving propulsion and manoeuvrability tests, approximately 6.4 m3 (4.4 tonnes) of liquid ammonia was loaded at Vopak Banyan Terminal, Jurong Island, on April 23, 2024. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore secured a designated test area along Raffles Reserved Anchorage for the trials, with an Emergency Operations Centre set up at MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre to monitor the fuel loading and sea trial operations. Ammonia plume modelling and drone surveillance were employed by the EOC to enhance safety and incident planning and response. These trials can be further developed to support the sea trials of planned ammonia-fuelled vessels under the Singapore Registry of Ships, if necessary.

The propulsion and manoeuvrability trials also included tests to validate the management of nitrogen-based emissions and assess the vessel’s engine capability to operate on varying amounts of HVO in combination with ammonia.

As part of MPA’s efforts to bolster maritime cybersecurity amid the digitalisation and connectivity of vessels, discussions are underway with Fortescue regarding the monitoring of information and operational technology systems onboard the Fortescue Green Pioneer. This initiative aims to enhance the resilience of vessels with alternative fuels against cyber threats. In the months ahead, the Fortescue Green Pioneer is expected to play a pivotal role in raising awareness of the global shipping industry’s need to adopt solutions such as green ammonia.

For more information visit www.mpa.gov.sg

6 May 2024